Frank Lento has been re-elected as chair of the School District 5 board of trustees.
2014 will mark Lento’s sixth year in the position. He was unanimously reelected by the board on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
“It’s nice to have my fellow members trust me,” said Lento. “It’s a pleasure for me to serve the board.”
The vice-chair position is split among the eight remaining trustees with each taking several weeks of the year in that role.
“For my fellow trustees, their commitment and passion is on par with anybody’s,” said Lento. “I’m fortunate to serve those people. We have some outstanding trustees throughout the district. It makes my job so much easier. In fact, it’s enjoyable.”
Lento said the coming year, ahead of the next election of trustees in November 2014, coinciding with municipal elections, holds several challenges for the board.
The largest of these challenges is the next budget.
“That’s probably the most important thing that we deal with. That whole process – funding levels, increase in hydro rates – everything that surrounds the budget, that’s important for us,” said Lento.
The board has developed good relationships with stakeholders in education, and Lento hopes to continue to strengthen those relationships over the coming year.
“To me, that’s crucial at this time in the board’s life. It’s important that we continue to improve and build those relationships with all our partners – employees, government, industry – anybody that has an interest in public education. That’s important to us. What we want to do is generate a sense of ownership and family for everybody,” said Lento.
The review of a new K-9 draft curriculum, which will continue throughout the 2013/2014 school year, is a challenge that the School District’s staff is well prepared to handle, he went on.
“We’re blessed with employees, right from senior management down, implementing these things where we can look at their initiative and their creativity to get things done,” said Lento.
“Even though it’s a new curriculum, I’m quite confident with the people that we have that we’ll make a difference for kids.”
Lastly, Lento said the school board is seeking ways for schools and communities to become more closely involved.
“We want to look for opportunities to move students outside the school into our communities, and to move our communities into our schools,” said Lento.